Contractor Faces $66K in Additional Fall Protection Fines
Federal workplace safety inspectors found a Fairmont City roofing contractor continuing to endanger employees to deadly fall hazards by not providing them fall protection, as required by federal law.
Inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration observed six roofers removing asphalt shingles on a commercial building in Greenville on April 18, 2023, at heights up to 12 feet without fall protection, and opened an investigation.
OSHA found Juan Zuniga Ramos – operator of JZ Exteriors and Repairs LLC – failed to provide fall protection and train workers on its use. Inspectors learned the company also lacked an accident prevention program and did not have a competent person to inspect work sites for hazards.
Inspectors also noted the contractor failed to use ladders properly, exposed workers to electrical hazards by not de-energizing circuits and did not have a fire extinguisher available in case of an emergency.
The inspection's findings are similar to fall protection violations for which OSHA cited Ramos at a St. Charles, Missouri, worksite in 2019 and, more recently, at a Highland job site in 2022. JZ Exteriors and Repairs LLC currently owes $31,163 in unpaid OSHA penalties.
OSHA cited JZ Exteriors and Repairs LLC for five repeat and four serious violations and one other-than-serious safety violation after the Greenville inspection. The agency has proposed $66,711 in additional penalties.
"Several workplace safety inspections show that Juan Zuniga Ramos is willing to put his employees in danger by exposing them to the real possibility of serious and sometimes fatal fall injuries," said OSHA Area Director Aaron Priddy in Fairview Heights, Illinois. "Falls are a leading cause of death in the construction industry, and yet JZ Exteriors and Repairs has ignored warnings given and fines assessed in OSHA inspections in 2019 and 2022. Ramos must fulfill his responsibility to ensure his workers' safety before tragedy strikes."
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.